Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So what happens when there is an Emergency?

So what happens when there is an Emergency?

Let’s be honest, you probably have not bother to ask yourself this question of late, and the reasons most probable are that; you are too busy (ummh that phrase again), you just don’t care (you would not believe it ,but some people don’t just care!) or you just have not really given it a thought!

If you are like me, the first and third reasons rank high amongst my own reasons but if you don’t have any, you are not alone; your decision to read this blog may start you thinking about it. However an event two weeks ago changed all that for me. It taught me that, I was not prepared mentally, physically and even strategically to do anything during an emergency.

So you can imagine my rude shock two weeks ago at the hospital. Me and my wife had gone to pay my brother-in-law’s wife a visit in the hospital. She had just put to bed. I had also in one breath,wanted to see the doctor because I was not feeling very well.

When we got to the Hospital that evening, it was total chaos, nurses we running helter sketcher, hospital attendants where shuffling up and down. You may ask what is the responsible for this pandemonium. Well look no further, it’s a gentleman huddle in an ambulance outside the hospital premises, writhing in pain, blood splattered everywhere, half of his body burnt, yes let me say it again: HALF OF HIS BODY BURNT!

Immediately we saw him, we were overwhelmed with emotions, immediately the malaria I thought I had, just evaporated; they told us that we could not see the doctor. It suddenly struck us that the hospital had only one doctor on duty that evening (just imagine that!).

On further investigation, we discovered that the gentleman is a staff of Guinness Nigeria Plc and had just been involved in a Plant accident. For almost 30 minutes, the staff of the hospital and those of Guinness were just running up and down. My heart bled for the victim and the nation as a whole, many questions rushed through my mind

Q1. when the accident happened, didn’t Guinness not call ahead to tell the hospital that they were coming. This accident was in their Ikeja plant and the hospital we are talking about is also in Ikeja! (Just 30-45mins drive away). So what other notice did they need. The hospital was on a retainership!

Q2. How come only one doctor and 3 Nurses where attending to him (You need see how they were struggling with the patient)

Q3. The patient had lost blood and was in pain, we could hear his cry and nothing it seems could be done (The medical team was just out of their breath (or should i say depth), this incident took place on a Friday evening, I am not sure they could even get an emergency (visa/evacuation) order to take him out the country or to Abuja National Hospital?

Before we get all religious (“God forbid” as is always our first response to this type of incidents) what are you going to do? What could you have been done, should you find yourself in that situation or some loved one?, These are questions I believe must running through your mind too.

Let me ask you, how do you feel when you are watching a home video and someone faints or collapses from a hit or gunshot and you see their family, friends or by standers are just screaming, shouting “ Mo gbe o!,” Chineke me” or other forms of ethnic exclamation of shock or surprise. Angry? Speechless….

Please do not say it cannot happen to you or someone you know, remember the Ikeja Bomb Blast! (Strange coincidence; I was in Maryland that day too).

How prepared are you for emergency? That is the question for today. How prepared is your family? When there is an emergency? Do you just scream or do you call a doctor, do you call a friend, do you call police. If the answer is YES to any of these questions, then do you have the names & numbers handy? Who and what numbers do our children call?

I know Econet (GSM provider) some years back were involved in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of some sought in this area but am not sure they are doing it anymore? Can Gov. Fashola take this up in Lagos again? Lastly, how prepared is our country for emergency?.

Why don’t we discuss these type of issues in Churches and Mosques? Or are our priorities so high up there we don’t have time for these earthly things anymore, If it can happen to Guinness Staff and in Lagos, what about ordinary citizen? Please let me have your comments.


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